Developers Spoiled For Free DB Choices

    May 4, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

It is not just MySQL or PostgreSQL offering freely available databases, as Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM all want to hook developers on lite versions of their products.

MySQL has an extensive presence online, with Yahoo and NASA using it for their services. PostgreSQL has its place with Red Hat and Cisco; both databases have many more users than those listed.

With those high-quality databases available for free, developers can pick and choose which one will best fulfill the requirements of their web applications. Both products offer ACID-compliance and transaction support among their features.

Despite the availability of PostgreSQL and MySQL, the powerhouses of corporate databases believe they can hook developers with versions of their mainstream database products by providing lite versions of them for free, too.

Various limitations, like caps on how much data can be supported or only using one processor on a multi-processor system, keep the lite versions from matching their full price counterparts. Companies hope to demonstrate that their feature sets will prove the deciding factor in choosing a proprietary system over an open source one.

Oracle began offering its out-of-beta version of 10g Express Edition earlier this year. IBM noted how developers familiar with MySQL can take that knowledge to DB2 Express-C.

Microsoft likewise made SQL Server Express available for its users. That product also integrates with the free Visual Web Developer Express suites for creating web applications.

While all of the Express database editions from the big tech companies have been designed to bring users along from at-home hobbyists to at-work product evangelists, they do provide an inside look at how those databases could benefit web development on a larger scale.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.